Ficus Tree

September is Arbour month in South Africa, although it hardly seems to be celebrated or recognized much lately. In the spirit of this here’s the story of my new addition to my office.

My sister and brother-in-law recently gave us a Ficus plant. I was quite happy with the ‘office-mate’ and have since named him Rusty 🙂 .

The Ficus tree is also sometimes known as the Weeping Fig, or Benjamin’s Fig, although it’s official name is “Ficus Benjamina”. It’s a very interesting looking plant with the stems all entwined together. I know some people enjoy growing them into various shapes and designs.

The Ficus is a quite versatile as far as it’s lighting requirements are concerned. In the full sun it will grow a thick canopy of leaves. But in more shady conditions it will grow very open with fewer leaves and thin weeping branches. So I have mine near my office window so it gets the morning rays, and it seems to suit the plant well.

How to Care for a Ficus Plant

It doesn’t need much water in winter, just enough to keep it from drying out. In summer, it will require a bit more. Try not to overwater your Ficus Tree. A tip is to feel the surface of the soil; if it feels dry about 2cm below the surface, it is time to water. If the soil still feels moist, give it a break from watering for a few days.

The plant needs be protected from strong winds, so make sure it is relatively sheltered. It can also be quite sensitive to cold weather.

In terms of placement, choose a site with bright, filtered light; early-morning or late-afternoon sun is fine, but avoid an area that gets direct sun all day.

If the leaves of your Ficus tree start to turn yellow and drop off, don’t increase the water dosage. In face the opposite needs to be done. Decrease water and, if possible, try to increase the humidity of the area.

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